Sunday, November 30, 2008

Web 2.0: Digg - The Final News Frontier

Welcome to a new era in information. With the introduction of Web 2.0 users are now in the driver’s seat. Content is entirely on users side. Whatever content these individuals deem necessary to that specific website, it will be added, pending it follows the terms of service for that website. For generations individuals have had to settle with media that was dictated to them by a foreign entity, or mass media conglomerates. Now that the Internet has taken the reigns of content and returned them to the public, the public is now able to create their own voice. There is no better website at the forefront of Web 2.0 than Users are able to use that voice at their discretion. Digg, although relatively new on the Internet, has grown by leaps and bounds to create one of the most unique websites that not only attracts countless users from around the world, but also allows users to discover and inform countless individuals with a click of the mouse.

Digg just might be the simplest idea ever implemented to fill the void that most people did not know existed. Jay Adelson, current CEO of Digg, spoke with USA Today concerning how everything came together and stated, “Kevin Rose had this sense that if we could harness the power of the users, it could be a better source of filtering for the overwhelming amount of data online” (Graham, 2007). Digg was the brainchild of Kevin Rose. Kevin Rose, the founder and chief architect, is a computer-science dropout from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (BusinessWeek par. 1). After working with a couple of dotcom’s prior to the Internet bubble bursting in 2001. Rose moved to the San Francisco area to become a production assistant for the newly created television show, The Screen Savers, airing on TechTV (G4TV par. 3). Here Rose would come into contact with countless technology “forefathers” that would later give him the idea of going out there and creating something. The idea was planted to create, just to create something.

On December 5th 2004, Digg was launched for worldwide consumption (MacManus, 2006). Although, the project was seen as something of a long shot by most, it slowly progressed to popularity among a loyal fan base. Time and time again Digg showed skeptics that it would be sticking around for years to come. On launch day, Digg registered about 13,000 new users, which apparently was unheard of at the time (BusinessWeek, par. 2). Digg was started with the idea of harnessing users, as Jay Adelson put it, and giving them a voice in this new media enriched world. By putting the users first it allowed Digg to go beyond what analysts were predicting about this little startup company.

For instance, by building a community first, that loyal fan base, it allowed the management at Digg to secure some revenue from advertisements. "It's one of those things where we know we could put crazy ads all over the site and clutter it up, but we don't want to do that," says Rose. "We have a clear path toward becoming a profitable company” (BusinessWeek par. 5). Profitable company they are. Apparently Digg was in talks with Google for an estimated 200 million dollar range, before walking away from the table (Arrington, 2008). With no buyers on the scene it may leave some wary but according to some, Digg generates revenues worth 3 million a year (BusinessWeek par. 4). Gathering more funds might not be on the management’s mind as of late considering the amount of growth they are receiving and revenue from the advertisements on the website. But one thing that seems to be on everyone’s mind is where do they go next? And how does a company that produces nothing generate millions of dollars? Welcome to the new era of information that is Digg.

The history and the man, Kevin Rose, behind Digg have been uncovered. Yet, Digg itself remains a mystery. The simplest of ideas are those that usually take off and become popular. The premise behind Digg is quite simple. Essentially, Digg produces nothing unless the users of the website are willing to supply the content. With that being said some still might be confused about the concept of Digg and its inner workings. Digg is a social content as well as a social bookmark website.

Users supply content. To elaborate on the type of content that is available it could be a textual story, video from YouTube, or a picture from Flickr. Of course the content is not limited to that but those are the three main types of content that make their way onto the Digg website. What makes that significant is that the source of the content does not matter, it can be a reputable website like the BBC News, or it could be from a small blog that is in obscurity on the Internet. The source of the information does not matter mainly because fellow users who see the content have the ability to “digg” the content up thus giving it recognition and ultimately making its way to the front page. Sometimes users do not find the content the most reliable, it might have bias or it just might be a duplicate of another story that was posted 15 minutes ago. In these cases users have the ability to bury these stories. With the more buries these stories obtain the less likely they are to be viewed by the majority on the front page. With burying you are given certain options. Users have the option to bury it under one of five categories, duplicate story, spam, wrong topic, inaccurate, and ok this is lame.

Digg allows users to supply content and discover content. In order for users to participate and to “digg” or “bury” a story and be apart of the democratic process that is Digg. Individuals need to sign in and create an account. With the creation of an account, individuals open an endless door of possibilities. The biggest plus of having an account is that users are able to comment on each story that is submitted to Digg. Once again these users have the ability to “digg” or “bury,” but this time in relation to their fellow user’s comments.

For instance one of the most popular stories on Digg at the moment happens to be titled, “Little Bastard.” The story is a picture of a puppy urinating on a laptop. One user, jaymulder, wrote, “I always wonder how people take pictures like this. Anyone in the right mind would pick the dog up before turning on a camera to take a picture. Totally planned.” The amount of “diggs” that jaymulder received for that comment was 824. Basically most of those people were thinking the same thing and decided to let their voice be heard under the user jaymulder. I was one of them. But one user who met the fate of being buried 23 times, cursorTD, stated, “Must be from a Mac using family. Surprised he's not foaming at the mouth though--those mac lovers are rabid!” Like any place on the Internet, and this especially goes for Digg, Apple and Microsoft users are always at one another’s throats. The majority seems to deal with the situation by burring any individual who even invokes bad statements toward one of the groups.

One of the biggest features on Digg happens to be its user profiles. Yes, users are able to participate in the process of digging and burying. But by having a profile, each and every story that you “dig” or comment on goes directlying to your profile for others to see. Now that Digg is on the radar, more and more websites as well as social networking sites are implementing tools to bring Digg to all corners of the Internet. One social networking website, Facebook, now has the option for Facebook users to import their Digg activity over to their feed for their friends to see.

Those that make up the Digg community are largely male. It has been said that men usually gravitate toward new technologies first. Ultimately it can be any type of technology. New and interesting things just interest men. According to BusinessWeek (2006) 94% are male; more than half are IT types in their 20s and 30s making $75,000 or more. Considering for a moment that Digg was created by Kevin Rose, who is 31 years of age. Digg fits in nicely into the idea that Kevin and his peers created something that those around his age could appreciate. These users really do appreciate it, all 2.7 million of them (Graham-Cumming, 2008).

Most users though use Digg merely as a watering hole of some sort. All of the content that is available on the web is at times hard to find. By having your peers bring that information to your fingertips it enables users to find out about information faster. For instance when any type of conflict arises the information will be readily available on Digg. When some news outlets such as CNN or BBC world news are just getting the information, some obscure news source might have already been publishing countless pages on the incident. Thus Digg fills the void that some individuals might have never known existed, had they not been turned onto Digg in the first place. Living in a fast passed world, Digg allows users to keep up with all the content out there.

Users might be using Digg as well for the simple idea that most mainstream news outlets only cover news that gets the most ratings. Digg serves as an unfiltered news source. So where in America they block out deaths of American soldiers in Iraq, you could quite possibly see some photographs somewhere else. The ability to see anything and everything is there for Digg users.

Although Digg is fairly young it has come a long way. It has come through lot obstacles on its way to popularity. The most known obstacle to those familiar with Digg happens to be when countless users posted HD DVD decryption codes on the website (Barlow, 2008). Digg’s front page was engulfed in stories that said nothing more than the decryption code. Kevin Rose (2007) later stated on his blog:

“We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code," he wrote. "But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be. If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying” (par. 1).

Ultimately, it is easy to see that the unfiltered process, which makes Digg strong, also makes it weak. By not abiding by the laws that bound the physical world it puts Digg at risk, but also brings question as to if laws can be broken online, then why not in the physical world as well by society. But alas Digg still stands today, and no one individual has yet to hear anything from authorities. So it appears that the riots worked in their favor. It might not be the last time Digg hears from the digital Boston Tea Party (Greenburg, 2007).

Overall Digg is nothing more than a young company trying to find its footing in the ever expanding Web 2.0 world. The Internet bubble has burst. If another bubble were to burst users would be reading about it on Digg. This website is not going anywhere, anytime soon. The general public only need an introduction with Digg. Once users see what Digg has to offer they will ask themselves how they lived with this void in them. After all most users have seen Digg icons on major media websites, like BBC News and Yahoo. Sadly most individuals just never knew what it was. Perhaps the time has come to stop viewing news in the traditional sense and participating in the Digg? Welcome to the new era of information that is


Barlow, Aaron. (2008). Blogging America (chapter 3). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Graham, Jefferson. (2007, October 24). Filling a void breeds fast success. USA Today, pp. Money, 03b.

Lacey, Sarah. and Jessi Hempel. (2006, August 14). Valley Boys. Business Week, 399(7), 40-47.

Graham-Cumming, J. (2008, January 29). How many users does Digg have? . Retrieved from

MacManus, R. (2006, February, 1). Interview with Digg founder Kevin Rose. Retrieved from

Arrington, Michael. (2008, July 26). Google Walks Away From Digg Deal. The Washington Post, pp. 252, b11.

Greenberg, Andy. (2007, March 2). Digg's Dilema. Retrieved November 22, 2008 from:

Rose, Kevin. (2007, May 1). Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0. Retrieved from:

Digg is a site that presents the full about how the website works (

G4TV. (2002). Focus on Kevin Rose. Retrieved November 22, 2008, from:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Web 2.0: Digg Observations

Over the past month I have been observing the web 2.0 website, Digg. Some of the general things that I have noticed happened to be the content submitted to the website. The time period I was observing the website happened to be in the mist of the United States presidential election. After viewing a majority of the headlines to the articles that were making their way to the front page I realized that they were more or less supporting Obama.

Essentially it appeared that Digg was the Internet grassroots ground zero for Obama. The comments just made this assumption more factual. All those that were condoning Obama and bashing McCain were being dug up and those that were less than favorable of Obama happened to be dug down.

But before the election there was the primaries for these canadiates and they of course had their fair share of supporters online, with Barrack Obama taking center stage for the democrats and Ron Paul in the driving seat for the republicans.

Digg is not all about politics. It is about what ever its users are about. If one is to go to any section, technology, comedy, or even business they would find countless individuals who declare that what they are preaching is the truth.

In closing the overall observation of Digg is that it is ultimately like reality. The only difference being that people are not afraid to show their true face.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov 24: Reading Reaction

According to the reading, Here Come Everybody..., Clay Shirky speaks about social networking and their inner workings. We are given a good amount of examples on how these networks, large and small, are maintained in today's world.

First, he goes into an example about an airliner and how the person sitting next to you might know the same exact person as you. But you may know the same person because you are both doing something similar, such as traveling to the same location. Shirky calls this Small World networking. Small World networking is at the heart of this article. Shirky states that Small World networking has two characteristics. One being it relates to small groups, the other pertaining to large groups. These groups are ultimately at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Small groups fall into the category to current online social networking sites, similar to Facebook and Myspace. Ultimately, in some way you know the people you are friends with and it allows the group, according to Shirky, to become even stronger. But, large groups would fall more into the category of Myspace’s music section. These artists have countless “friends,” yet it is hard to believe that with over 100,000 individuals they are as strong as a group of 50. “Large groups are sparsely connected” (pg. 215).

In an attempt to relate to a younger audience even more Shirky explains a new social networking tool called Dodgeball. It allows people to notify their friends where they are. It is somewhat like Twitter, but more phone based. Finally, I would have to agree with the Small World network. It really does matter how you interact in the world. I have met countless individuals and have fallen victim to stating what a small world, but it came down to doing something quite similar as the other person in a specific area.

Shirky, Clay. (2008) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Penguin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov 12: Reading Reaction

In the reading entitled, “Shout into the wind, and it shouts back,” the author, Lori Kendal, speaks about her research with the “journal”-style blogs like LiveJournal. According to Kendal LiveJournal is a online diary rather than a blog that dominantly houses teenagers. Even though those involved in her study were well into their 20s and 30s. In essence LiveJournal is a place where individuals display what is going on in their mind publicly.

One of Kendal’s more interesting topics about LiveJournal is subtitled, efficiency vs. audience management. The individuals that were interviewed almost unanimously stated that they preferred using LiveJournal to contact their friends than using e-mail or telephone. In a sense one could state that LiveJournal was becoming center in their communication circles. According to Kendal, “It decreases the emphasis on LiveJournal as a diary site. By thus depicting their participation as business like.” Here we have individuals not knowing where to draw the line in the sand between personal and public. Granted some individuals enjoy talking about anything and everything, but when you are treating a diary site as a business experience, you might need to take a step back from it all.

Something that Kendal and I both agree upon is that having your contacts from every aspect of your life clumped into one place can create problems. Some individuals should find some truth in the old saying, “do not dip your pen in company ink.” Stating that life at work and life at home should be separate, but with LiveJournal that does not seem to be possible. Most of the participants soon discovered that audience management and control your diary’s privacy was soon quite important. They all came to the realization that keeping their work and personal lives separate was important. It comes down to humans being humans and whether or not they will use their brains to filter out the information that can be seen as harmful to them.

Kendall, Lori. (2007). “Shout into the wind, and it shouts back.” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrived on August 21, 2008 from http;//

Fourth Essay: Blogging

With millions of cultures around the world, is it hard to believe that one is being created in front of our very eyes? People today are a part of something exceptional, the Internet blog. The blog has many facets. Informing countless individuals in mere seconds before traditional newspapers have the ability to even print a single page of news. Blogs have the ability foster a central idea, in order for a community to form around that main idea. Author and commenter in the public sphere seem to blur. Ultimately, determining the grey area comes down to ones own perception. The Internet blog, created by one individual serves as a jumping off point to countless others, allowing them to “pay it forward” or contribute back to the community.

Over the course of two week’s time, I examined the blog, Engadget. Having chosen one of the top technology blogs on the Internet I was well aware that I would be receiving much more than just news entries. Engadget is a subsidiary of Weblogs Inc, who happens to be owned by AOL, who is owned by the biggest fish, TimeWarner. In the simplest sense a multinational corporation owned the blog that I had chosen. But, I was not examining the vertical or horizontal structure that Aaron Barlow mentions in his book. I was trying to determine if those visiting the blog and commenting went full circle back to the entries.

My first real encounter with the community showed me that a full circle does exist, albeit in some way. Those commenting on Engadget are not permitted to edit the actual story, but those who operate the blog do read the comments in case an error was made in one of their entries. The community was not accepting the entry as actually news and argued against the piece until it had actually been corrected. Engadget, having the ability to correct the blog almost instantaneously, nearly come off as if they are infallible. Yet, Engadget replies to the individuals and thanks for their assistance. I believe such honesty by a blog, makes individuals want to read the blog and contribute back knowing they are improving the community. Improvements are possible since, ”blog communities tend me be much more narrow (Barlow, 2008),” and in this case we are dealing with “technology junkies" who watch their blogs and news sources almost constantly from their phones, as well as other devices.

Having brought up “technology junkies” in my observations. I must say that some of these individuals, better known under the phrase, “fanboys” make browsing the blog comical, as well as interesting. Fanboys, an Internet term, are individuals who are passionate for a certain brand or company, but who allow their passion overtake common sense. Engadget happens to be filled with countless fanboys, especially on topics surrounding the technology companies, Apple and Microsoft. Some individuals see these two companies as good and evil, depending upon your perception. Why talk about these individuals? Well, their passion adds a balance to entries. There is no doubt in my mind that most blogs on the Internet have an Apple lean, while Microsoft is either vilified. Engadget is no different. Having these Microsoft fanboys constantly speak their mind, allows those reading the article to ultimately read both sides of the story, half from the actual blog itself, and the other from the community, which is filling in the gaps. Yet, at times these confrontations between fanboys result in fights, almost similar to the ones that occurred on Digg (Barlow, 2008). Although, fighting one another might seem not seem important, it is the fight the changes the mood of the community.

Engadget allows individuals to either rate highly or negatively of a person’s comment. It may come as no surprise, that on high profile Apple and Microsoft entries, most of the comments are voted negatively because it often erupts into bickering. This hurts the full circle of contribution. But if one was to stand back and just read some of these comments, on the surface they would be comical, yet they would also to a degree have some truth. This truth is according to the person’s own views, viewing them individually is quite harmful, but having 30 different ones posted in a row allows others to achieve a certain understanding of the information. Fanboys are the minority on Engadget. The vast majority seems to ignore such passioniate individuals and is rewarded by having their comment positively rated.

It is hardly fair to state that this is the only way the community contributes. In all fairness to the Engadget community I feel the latter is far more helpful to the blog. Sure, verifying information and ensuring it is correct to get the right information out is needed, but reading the comments of some individuals allows others to see a counter to the story so a decision can be made. Simply by reading the comments, you as a reader are questioning certain ideals put forward in the blog (Barlow 2008). Questioning technology information on Engadget, which is in the public sphere, is exactly what is permitted otherwise it would not be public. After all it is what the public sphere is about.

Blogs like Engadget in the simplest form are text and nothing more. It is with our own perceptions that make these texts into stories that cultivate a viewpoint. With this view we can share it with the entire world allowing our voice to be heard. There is always a full circle of contributing information, in the end it depends on how one perceives information in our real life culture and attempting to extend it to the culture surrounding the Internet blog.


Barlow, Aaron. (2008). Blogging America. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 5: Blog Evaluation

With this being my final observation for the blog Engadget, I decided it would be fitting to blog about the entry concerning Circuit City's bankruptcy. Most of the comments on the this entry are reminiscing about other technology stores that have closed their doors. I honestly forgot about a majority of these stores, The Wiz in particular. It is funny how when something new comes a long that the majority of the public just forgets about the past and focuses their energy on the present almost as if nothing bad had ever occured.

My contrubution to the community was stating how we will soon have no compeditors in the private secotor for retail, instead it will be one giant Walmart. It will be similar to the movie Idiocracy, starting Luke Wilson. Mike10010100, said it best when he was most worried about Black Friday, and the amount of discounts that would no longer be offered unless CC can stop the bleeding for that long. This is exactly why I will continue to purchase things online where they are 30-50% cheaper 100% of the time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 4: Blog Evaluation

I once again find myself knee deep in another Apple vs Microsoft entry on Engadget. The entry that I have decided to interact with is entitled, Microsoft reveals 46 new Zune Originals designs -- how will you ever choose? Being a Zune owner myself, it makes me a little jealous that I did not wait a little longer to wait and purchase one. The quick synopisis on the entry states that the Microsoft will now have 46 new artist engravings on the back of their Zune product line. Anytime there is Microsoft uttered on the Internet there are a thousand Apple fans crying out in anger. This blog entry is no different. One user, PAJA, decided to call this news "Lipstick on Pig," so I just had to remind this user that Apple had something similar with U2. But the iPod's U2 edition was not as elaborate as this, so it falls short.

Ultimately any time we see a Microsoft geared entry there will be countless Apple indivduals bashing it and visversa.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 3: Blog Evaluation

Well, here we are once more. I have attempted to once again pick relevant topics that not only interest me, but as well will effect me. The entry that actually made me want to interact with this time is entitled, Microsoft mistakenly reveals 2009 launch target for Windows 7, again.

Now that there is all of this negative buzz surrounding Windows Vista because of Apple's "Get Mac Ads" it will be interesting to see Windows 7 arrive and blow away all the annalists expectation, as well as consumers. The blog entry had a lot of butting heads, mostly from Mac "fanboys" versus everyone else. So, I of course had to put my two cents, being a Apple user, to debunk anything these Apple people said, since I do love Windows as well. I merely stated that everyone should try the product before they all start making judgments about a product that will not be on shelves until late 2009 - early 2010. Alas some people are ignorant and will never learn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 2: Blog Evaluation

The next entry that I decided to comment on happened to be political in nature. The entry was titled, Even Robots Love Obama. I must say that before I was evening going to comment on the blog, my thoughts had already been expressed several times over by the community. We all must have the same humor. Soon as I saw a robot, I automatically thought of Johnny 5, the robot from the 80s movie. But having seen that Graham Wellington (formerly tyrone washington, or marsha goldberg), was in the same frame of mind as me, I decided to add to his comments. I added the famous tag line that Johnny 5 always states in all of his movies, Johnny 5, I am alive run away little girl. The later portion of that was merely added, since there is a little girl picture who happens to be fleeing away from the robot in fear. The entry itself is not that in depth, it is based around the picture more than anything else.

But I would like to state that I welcome our new ObamaBot overlords!

Blog Entry: Here

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Choosing a blog -- First Educational Interaction

The blog that I decided to interact with and observe happens to be Engadget. Engadget is a technology blog, and to quote the Engadget's about us page they state that they cover the, "daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics." Ultimately the audience is bombarded with countless technology news stories, rumors, and reviews by several indivduals who are employed under WebBlogs Inc, who in part is owned by AOL, Time Warner's online division. This blog is pretty lively it is constantly posted on Digg, a social content website, and because of it recieves constant traffic, which means a community.

I spend everyday on this blog usually looking at each and every entry in hopes of reading someone new and exciting that will one day grace the retail shelves. But for this excursion I spent most of my time with the entry entitled, HD Netflix streaming comes to Xbox 360 first. I revolved around this mainly because I have both services and I am excited that it will simplify my movie renting abilities. One person, doniel, brought up a god point in this blog stating that Comcast has imposed a new data cap of 250GB. Now, this simply states that you are not permitted to download/stream data that goes over 250GB, essentially a limit on the internet. Being that I am a Comcast subscriber at home it makes made me reply stating that I was thinking the exact same thing and that I hope that I get to enjoy the new service and not end up paying countless fees for going over the 250GB data cap.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oct 29: Reading Reaction

The reading for class, Chapter 2: The Blogs in Society, had a lot of interesting insight on the ideal of the blog. Yet these ideals were from the vast majority of the public who seem to mostly look down upon blogs. According to Barlow, the author of Blogging @merica, believes that the community is the heart of the blog. Ultimately I concur on that thought. There are countless blogs out there on the web that have gained so much recognition, not because of their content, but because of the people surrounding the blog.

But this chapter goes on to speak, albeit briefly, about what occurs when just one person in that community starts to upset the norm and starts issuing death threats to the blogger – the person writing the blog. According to Barlow, Chris Clarke of the Creek Running North blog had to step away from the blog for a short time after he received death threats against his dog.

Threats of course bring into question how much of yourself do you want out there on the web? Most bloggers seem to accept the ideal that you cannot please everyone and attaching anonymity to your blog only lessens the material present. Since the blog is an extension of your being and only benefits from your offline experiences, as much as your online experiences. But some individuals like Tim O’Reily, coined Web 2.0, have come together with others to form a “Blogging Code of Conduct” to finally bring some structure to a structure less environment.

I happen to believe that blogs are a great source of information. Most of the time these sources of information are able to post new stories far faster than traditional news outlets and by having that community aspect, and being able to read those comments on their views it only adds to the blog.

Barlow, Arron. (2008). Blogging @merica: The New Public Sphere. Westport: Praeger

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Third Essay: October 20th

With the coining of Web 2.0, the Internet has exploded with websites that have become centralized around the users. Digg, a social news submitted site, allows users to submit news stories for other users to view. Over the course of the past week I have examined the search engines, Google, Yahoo, and EBSCOhost, in order to evaluate what relevant information exists out there on the World Wide Web about the social website, Digg, and to find the most efficient key terms to achieve said goal by moving past all the clutter to acquire applicable media sources.

Many Internet users today when using the Internet jump right to the big commercial search engines, Google or Yahoo (Tensen, 2004). I am no different and chose Google, Yahoo and an academic search engine named EBSCOhost. Seeing as how I would be researching for credible sources, I needed a unique batch of keywords to make sure the results would be legitimate as well as relevant. I decided to keep the keywords as broad as possible, but not to the point where I would get any type of information. The keyword, CO “DIGG Inc.” was chosen since it refers to finding company information about Digg Incorporated using Boolean Logic (Kaye and Medoff, 2001).

Google rewarded me with countless helpful entries. While Yahoo returned more user submitted news about companies that were posted on Digg. But EBSCOhost returned more results from newspapers and magazines. Since no one search engine is built the same, each search returned different results based upon how they were built. Google happens to have a page ranked system, while Yahoo has a directory-based engine, but as for EBSCOhost it is an endless database of information (Whitaker, 2002). Depending upon what search engine you use the code that lies behind all the images and text really determines what results you will see.

Evaluating the sources that returned from the search engines happens to be a difficult task if unfamiliar with the topic. There are a lot of conditions that need to be applied to each and every source, especially online to determine its relevancy and validity. Books have had standards since they were first published in the industrial age, but in the Internet age there are no set standards, “Because the WWW is not regulated like a library” (Tensen, 2004). Instead of institutions doing the work and filtering out what they consider good or bad, that privilege is passed onto the user. There are six conditions, according to Tensen that each source should go through in order to be considered, they are: reliable, purpose, source, intended audience, date of publication, appearance, and reputation, which seem to be common sense (Tensen, 2004).

With Google, as I said above, I was given an overwhelmingly amount of information, but most of the information that was returned was reliable. The first source that comes up is that of BusinessWeek, detailing the company information from the key executives to phone numbers to recent important business news involving the company. Applying the conditions to this site it is evident that it is giving me a brief overview of all the important information, and since it is Business Week, I know based upon its reputation that it is a reliable source.

Now, the next entry on Google is every professor’s worst nightmare, but in Digg’s case I believe an exception needs to be made. Digg is entirely user driven and the information is seen as creditable for other websites back that information up, which is very similar to Wikipedia. The information of the website is very in depth and gives the text citations, for questionable information. But I would have to say that the information is creditable and I would more than happy reference it in a final project as an example of how social content is changing the Internet.

Oddly enough Google has page ranked Digg’s own about page as the last result on the first page. Now what is better than going to the horse’s mouth and finding out all the information about the medium. This source is pretty self-explanatory. Who else is going to know more about Digg then well, Digg?

The last entry from Google happens to be the overall ranking of Digg on the web. Alexia is a website that ranks the traffic of all the websites on the web. With the information changing constantly about the rank, the site is continuously updated. Although the website is not an exact science it has been around long enough to once again have a reputation of being reputable and would make a perfect addition to any project requiring statistics.

As for Yahoo, their results were quite different, but helpful in a different way. Since Yahoo serves as a directory, the results were mostly submissions to Digg, with the exception of another Digg page, about the founder, Kevin Rose. Once again I feel that this website based upon its location is already considered important and valid, and worthwhile in being used in a project.

EBSCO on the other hand provided countless information. For instance the first website, BuisnessWeek, as we have already proven valid as a source. It speaks to users as a newspaper, as well as looks like one, and is recently dated. I would quote this article without looking over my shoulder. Since it is so reputable for a source EBSCO included in another time. The articles are quite business oriented but BussinessWeek does a great job capturing the social aspect, as they know their audience.

Since we are talking about newspapers the Wall Street Journal appeared by offering a bit of financial information about the social news website. Being available in both print and online, bolsters its ability of being professional, not to mention the name makes one think of Wall Street.

The last two articles are cover stories, one from Time, and the other from Computerworld. Both magazines are quite renowned in their own areas and have a extensive reputation, although Computerworld might not be as renown as Time. Yet, they serve their purposes to their groups that they serve.

Search engines are just that, they search. Some hit, and some miss. But when it comes down to it, they are just tools that we use to make our lives easier regardless of trying to seek out something that is valid or not.


Grossman, Lev. (2008, May 12). Jay Adelson. Time, 171(19), 121.
Havenstein, Heather. (2007, May 7). Revolt Against Digg Tests User Content Model. Computerworld, 41(19), 1-16.
Kaye, Barbara K. & Medoff, Norman J. (2001). The World Wide Web: A mass communication perspective (chapter 2). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.
Tensen, Bonnie L. (2004). Research strategies for a digital age (chapter 5). Boston: Wadsworth.
Whitaker, Jason. (2002). The Internet: The basics (chapter 1). New York: Routledge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oct 15: Reading Reaction

According to the reading for October 15th, the author, Michael Zimmer, states that Internet search in its current state could be far better, and more personalized to the each user. Zimmer makes the case for a “perfect search” engine that essentially knows each user through a profile that has been compiled through each search that they have made on this new Web 2.0. Also the searches of tomorrow, according to Zimmer will also be able to differentiate between keywords entered to know exactly what you are seeking out and tailor them to your needs at that given time. Now although he does set aside specific guidelines on how to achieve such a task, he does mention the other side of where if one were to improve the search capabilities and cater them to the user making the search, one would also allowing governments and other organization ask to retrieve these compiled profiles and quite possibly use it against them, bringing to light the question of privacy.

Zimmer cites a number of areas of where this is a problem but one example provided where the big search engines in the United States were asked by the government to turn over million of search queries to uphold a child pornography law, while everyone complied, Google resisted. This of course, from a user of search engines, like Google, creates some confidence that the information I seek is between just Google and myself. But Zimmer also states that with laws like the Patriot Act, it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore all the power law enforcements pose, especially where they decide to direct that power towards. I for one, like many Americans, enjoy my privacy but with more and more companies compiling data, which threatens my piracy, it is hard to keep a smile on your face.

Zimmer, Michael. (2008). The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for the perfect search engine meets Web 2.0. First Monday, 13. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Essay 2: The Early Internet

Under certain circumstances conversing on the Internet, one never truly knows who or what is on the other end of the text. The Internet is as vast as the real world itself, and is only getting larger and more complex over time. The amount of people “plugging in” to the web is quite mind-boggling. With more and more people, comes the chance to interact with interesting people through chat programs. Internet Relay Chat is no different from the real world; there are enemies and consequences, or friends and rewards, yet ultimately it depends on ones willingness to assimilate to see which path that is taken.

Internet Relay Chat, or better known as IRC for short, “came into being in 1988 by a Finnish student named Jarkko Oikarinen, allowing individuals to converse with one another in real time” (World Almanac, 2006). IRC allows people to talk to one another as if they were speaking in person. Although that seen as a plus it may also be seen as a minus, creating certain consequences and enemies that may hurt ones experience on IRC or the Internet in general. Specifically on the IRC network, GameSurge, an IRC network dedicated to gaming, fundamentally permits anyone to come on the network pending they follow the terms of service. The terms of service is a simple rulebook saying one will follow the rules and do no harm.

Anyone interested in any type of “gaming” seems to flock to the network, regardless of where in the world one lives. On the network and in their main channel, #GameSurge, users range in the hundreds. At one time the amount of people in the channel went to a staggering 350 people, and that is just in the one channel, on the network it could have been in the thousands. Yet, trying to identify the age or gender of any of the users is useless since each person is anonymous, and able to choose their own user name, or handle. If one was to look at the screen they would see a list filled with people, and the only logical thing one could do is make an assumption based upon their handles, yet this leaves to consequences on IRC, specially GameSurge. But because we are dealing with GameSurge, the average user age on the network can be ranged from as low as a freshman in high school to as high as a senior in college, and the network is mostly male. But one still should not make an assumption, simply because there are a handle of women on the network.

Even if there were a large population of woman on the network, one would still not be able to know. “There is no reliable way to find out whether the ostensible gender matches the real life one” (Danet, 1998). The only way to truly find out a person’s sexuality on the network would to ask each one and trust their answers. After all there is no oversight, so they could simply lie. With IRC, the users are mostly dealing with an honor system, making honor a very important thing to each and every user in the community. Like every rule, there happens to be exceptions, and some just do not feel that way. These users see no friends online, only people that can become their enemies and they get enjoyment out of such situations. There was one case where a user pretended to be a female. He used the handle, sexxysexyjill. Sometimes when users have forward and obvious nicks it is almost a give away that they are anything but what their handle says, but this is IRC and assumptions should be kept to a minimum. So “sexxysexyjill” attempted to reap havoc upon the channel by making everyone think that his sexuality was in fact a woman. Ironically, apparently this has been tried so many times that as soon as the user attempted anything the operator just muted the user so he could not chat and told him to play nice, resulting in him changing his name back to l4ndF4|3mer. Although Usenet, another form of Internet communication, is quite different from IRC, Kollock and Smith said it best when they speaking about those who act out against the network. “Don’t bother flaming them – attention is their reward. Just ignore them. They’ll get bored and go away” (Kollock and Smith, 1996). Once l4ndF4|3mer realized no one was buying into what he wanted to do he quietly left the channel.

Age is a big concern on the network due to maturity levels not being that high, and the Internet already being a collection of anything and everything, some users just lack self control in key situations. For instance, there was a user, cyberdeath, talking to another user, howmydictate, about the latest computer hardware and somewhere along the line howmydictate just lost interest in the conversation and only wanted laughs from the channel. So he starts saying offensive words, as well as pop culture references, mainly Borat, and low and behold he does not realize that cyberdeath is an operator, and moderator of the channel and is removed from the network for violating the networks terms of service. Later howmydictate returned with a botnet, bunch of zombie users, which simply spammed the channel until operators like cyberdeath channel the channel to moderated mode.

Right then and there one can see that howmydictate was attempting to take revenge on cyberdeath and the network for being removed from the channel and try and regain his honor in some why by disobeying the terms of service. Some users just live in a do or do not reality where trying to reach a middle ground and bring something beneficial to the network happen to be not an option. But there is good in some individuals and they end up allowing the community to grow, why else would there be thousands of people joining together on an IRC network, if there was not something worthwhile there?

In closing IRC, like anything depends entirely on the user. One might find a friend. One might find an enemy. Whatever it is that one does end up finding, hopefully it is they benefiting from the network while bringing something as well.

Works Cited:

GameSurge Overview (
GameSurge Terms of Service (

World Almanac & Book of Facts (anv ed.). (2006). New York, NY: World Almanac Books.

Danet, Brenda. (1998). text as mask: Gender, play, and performance on the Internet. In Steven G. Jones (Ed.), Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting computer-mediated communication and community (pp. 129-158). Thousand Oaks, NJ: Sage.

Kollock, Peter & Smith, Marc. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susan C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communications: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 109-128). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reading Reaction: Sept 22

In the reading, Democratizing democracy: Strong democracy, US political campaigns and the Internet, the author, Stromer-Galley, evaluates a concept of a direct democracy brought to light by Benjamin Barber. According to Stromer-Galley, Barber believes that a direct democracy is a strong democracy and “is politics in a participatory mode.” With the creation of the Internet, it allows the general masses to finally participate with those running for office in Washington, to connect the politician to the voter.

One reason that the Internet is seen as a direct type of communication for democracy is that most Americans are not able to see the entire picture due to big media acting as gate keepers to information, as Stromer-Galley puts it, “through the lens of the camera or through the pen of the journalist.”

We are given six characteristics of the Internet, cost, volume, directionality, speed targeting, and convergence, which are explained in depth how they are used to democratize. Cost simply allowing the small candidate to square off again the big, rich candidate, since cost for a website and upkeep are quite small. Yet, I would state is the most important in this date in age, considering that younger ages are getting their information from the web rather than traditional news sources.

But Stromer-Galley also brought up the point of volume, where storing information is quite cheap. Yet, due to privacy laws in the United States being relaxed it brings up concerns. Also there is a breach of trust concern by receiving emails from politicians that attempt to target certain demographics without the voters permission.

The biggest point I want to sound off on is when Stromer-Galley says, the Internet gives “more opportunities to speak directly with the citizen, the less likely candidates can hide,” which is true. With this current election we are seeing countless information telling the truth on the candidates being found on the Internet, some information that main news outlets will not even pick up. So it might be safe to say that lens is finally coming off and that direct democracy is finally coming to light.

Stromer-Galley, Jennifer. (2000). Democratizing democracy: Strong democracy, US political campaigns and the Internet. In Peter Ferdianand (ed.), The Internet, democracy and democratization (pp. 36-58). Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers.

IRC: (5) Last Journal Entry

I have remembered a lot by interacting with IRC once more. One thing that I have not yet experienced are the early hours of the morning (12:00-1:00 AM) chat. Considering that this is my last journal that I must write, I thought I should get every angle of IRC. What's better than viewing the channel when the "real" world is sleeping.

Upon entering the channel, this time the main channel #GameSurge, I was greeted by countless conversations. Apparently I was lucky in my assumption to come on at this time. The channel was engulfed in conversations ranging from current events to who wanted to go play a Counter-Strike scrimmage.

I suppose IRC, GameSurge specifically, is like a college. There are a bunch of individuals on the network, who are involved in various activities, some help the network by interacting with one another and thus building up the community. And of course there are those willing to tear everything down. Some even go as far to get angry over something bitter that occurred online with text and try to seek redemption, quite similar to the real life.

But after all the observing I encountered I would have to say that the gender aspect did not come up much at all. Sure, if someone stated they were a girl, the men of the channel would ask for proof. If proof was given, the men would ogle her and ask why she enjoys playing video games and why she was spending her time online in IRC. But if they were just men trying to pawn themselves off as women, which was the majority, the community would just mock them for a short period until it became yesterday's news.

Now that I have reemerged myself in this channel I feel as though I will be returning quite often to speak with friends and just help support the community. After all I would not want to be a free rider.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

IRC: Day 4 Journal

Today I actually had a purpose to go onto GameSurge, the network that I am evaluating. My roommate has been having computer issues, and I have always found the best free tech support from people on the network. Around 1:00PM EST I entered the network and went into the channel, #help. In this channel there are countless people who sit idle by waiting for people to come into the channel with problems and assist them with anything to the best of their ability. There were approximately 50 people in the channel, one of them being my friend, cyberdeath. I asked my question and waited for a response. In the meantime people kept entering asking their questions, getting their answers and leaving. But some were so impatient that they left as soon as they asked their questions, only to miss the answers that were being given by the channel.

As for me, I am still waiting for someone to figure out my issue. I have gotten responses back, yet none of the answers given thus far have not fixed the issue. I have found that you need to be clear and to the point, due to the fact that you are the only one who can see the issue. If you give a board answer then you will get a broad answer, so being specific enables you to get a specific answer. But ultimately I found this little interaction almost as if I was at a Best Buy seeking help, the people just are professional and take pride in helping people, except they do it for free.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

IRC: Day 3 Journal

This time entering the channel, #GameSurge, I arrived around 3:00PM CST (4:00PM EST) to ensure that there would be more activity. Well, things have not changed in over 4 years, people entered the channel in droves once they get home from school. Yet, I call them children because that is the type of attitude you receive when watching some of these conversations. The majority of the channel was once again filed with males, while females were scarce, although one of the operators is a female.

The conversations that were taking place mostly revolved around computer games, mainly because GameSurge is a computer gaming oriented IRC network. But the game of choice as far as I could tell was still Counter-Strike, a first person shooter style game that has been around for close to 10 years. One could say that the social atmosphere moves quite slow, since most are in high school and once they grow bored of the whole idea are replaced by someone else who is infatuated by it, plus its not like high school students are in short demand.

Basically after sitting in the channel, observing and watching a few people get out of line, they were removed swiftly by another friend TheifMaster, who happens to be from Berlin, Germany. Its just funny because you may think you are talking to someone who could be in the next room, yet for all you know, the person could be on the opposite side of the world. And with text traveling so fast you are never the wiser.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reading Reaction: Sept 17

In the reading, The Internet: The basics, one would assume that what Jason Whitaker speaks about would be the basic elements that make up the Internet. Yet, reading line after line I was bombarded by information that went far beyond basic. I think the title should be amended to The Internet: An Abridged History, because that is what the reader is getting from reading this piece.

But, in Whitaker’s defense he does speak about the basics, albeit in a strange way. Nonetheless he does speak about hypertext, "information that links to other information" (Whitaker, 2002), and how it essentially is the most basic building block that makes up the Internet on the surface. Meaning that it links texts, to images, or to video, ultimately it depends on the user and what he or she wants to publish on the web.

Whitaker does get back into the elements of the Internet, speaking about HTML, Hypertext Markup Language. HTML essentially speaks to web browsers, Internet Explorer or Firefox, to display the page a certain way, ranging from layout to color to size of the text, or even placement of a certain picture on the page. But like any standard, HTML is no different and its standard is set by the W3C, World Wide Web Consortium.

Alas HTML in its old age is being stretched to its limitations and XML, Extensible Markup Language, is being brought in to try to simplify things, Whitaker states that users can define their own tags. For instance a phone website has a form asking the user to input their phone. On the back end of things it would look more like [phone]Nokia[/phone]. Although it would be with <> instead, since blogger is not allowing me to demonstrate it.

Whether its code from HTML or new implications of XML, the Internet is an ever changing entity, we will just have to sit back and enjoy the ride, because the apparently the basics are not so basic after all.

Whitaker, Jason. (2002). The Internet: The basics (chapter 3). New York: Routledge

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IRC: Day 2 Journal

Oddly, enough when I was going back to the GameSurge website and connect to the network to see what was going on in the channel once more, I remembered that a few years ago this would not have been possible. When I was a freshman at the university I remembered that the ports to get on to IRC were blocked completely and now I am actually able to return without a single problem. I just found that funny, and thought I would share that tiny tid bit of information.

I entered the channel around noon, I knew the channel would be ultimately dead since IRC life, especially on this network does not become alive until after 3:00PM since it is still mostly inhabitted by those who still go to high school and below. But to entertain myself, I spent the time going through my old commands with the ChanServ, which is the network appointed channel bot that maintains the channel. Next time I will try back when there is at least activity to speak of.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

IRC: Day 1 Journal

Today I went back to the GameSurge Network where I had originally been an IRC Operator, someone who monitors the network and make sure everyone is acting in accordance with the rules. Let me just say, once I connected, I automatically remembered all of the binds and codes that I had used while volunteering my time with them. But, once I joined the main channel, #GameSurge, where most of the operators on the network hangout, a large majority of them were no longer there. Ultimately, like me, people moved on to new things or just grew bored of the whole thing.

But this journal is not about the past, it is about what is going on in the channel itself. There were about 280 people on average in the channel, with a large amount of people coming in and out. Most came into the channel seeking assistance, but read the topic, which redirected them to #support where an operator would assist them in a first come first serve basis. But for a majority of the time that I spent in the channel I was speaking to an old operator who have been there before even I started helping out back in 2003, cyberdeath. We mostly talked in the channel to let everyone see our conversation, and of course other people chimed in to give us their two cents, but overall it was a good entrance back into the world of IRC.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reading Reaction: Sept 10

In the reading, Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities, Kollock and Smith both speak about a few issues of communication that translate from the real world over to the Internet. One issue that is transparent throughout the reading is the issue of free-riding and how to correct it in certain online situations, like Usenet.

But in all honesty some of the reasons given for free-riding on Usenet, all in all do not make that much sense to me let alone I would consider it free-riding. In terms of bandwidth, as long as you in some way contribute to the conversation on hand you are doing what is right, even if you do end up writing long replies. But for someone to "Lurk" as Kollock and Smith say, that is in no way free-riding. Free-riding to me at least is for example there are three people that plant trees, one digs the hole, the other puts the tree in and the other put the dirt back into the hole. Now one calls out sick and the other continue to do their job, yet no one does the job of the man that is out sick because they have no incentive to do it, if they all get the same amount of compensation, that at least to me is free-riding.

I think that anyone using any type of communication on the Internet needs to remind himself or herself, that they are on the Internet. Kollock and Smith bring up a good point concerning Usenet and a post titled "Make Money Fast." Essentially the post is just a form of spam that is still common on message boards today as well as back then, but the way to get rid of such people so that conversation can continue is to follow the same advice that you would in real life if someone was antagonizing you, just ignore it and it will go away, just as Kollock and Smith advise.

Sure, once users connect to Usenet they can be advised by a FAQ file, but most people are in such a rush to start communicating with others that they fly on past that and worry about the consequences later. I know I have personally disregarded the rules just to get what I wanted to do faster, did it end up biting me in the end, not yet at least to my knowledge. Some things just can not be fixed, Usenet or not we still have most of these issues popping up in a Web 2.0 world.

Kollock, Peter and Smith, Marc. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susan C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 109-128). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Innovations can be big and they can be small. Oddly enough when it comes to innovations that led to the Internet there is nothing little, considering every little insignificant thing that occurs around the Internet has a huge impact on it overall. The Internet although young has had countless innovations involving its overall speed, the language it speaks, its structure, and connecting human beings and allowing them to communicate with one another with ease.

Americans live in a fast pace world, to get where they are going and to do it in the shortest amount of time. So in hindsight it is no secret that speed is quite high on our list as Americans, especially when it comes to the Internet. When most Americans want to find out where the largest salt mine in the United States is located, they head online and in a flash they have the answer they were seeking all because of speed. The dial up modems of yesteryear are all but gone from the memories of the American population, because they have all moved onto faster broadband. Whether it is a DSL, cable, or T1/3 connection without these improvements on both the user end and the Internet side (Adams and Clark, 2001), most of the content that we find on the Internet would just not be viable let alone enjoyable. Honestly, who would have waited in the early days of the Internet and downloaded a movie, only to have it completed in two to three days? Hopefully, the answer is no one because without speed the Internet in today’s day and age, would just not be viable.

Ultimately, the speed of ones connection to the Internet does not mean anything if the language of ones computer differs from that of a friend’s computer. With the change from NCP to the newer, stable language of TCP/IP. In its simplest form a common standard and protocol or set computer language called National Control Protocol, or better-known NCP governed the early form of the Internet (“Congressional Digest,” 2007). However, some of those on the network were not able to truly communicate with one another until a new standard was put into place, called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, TCP/IP (Adams and Clark 2001). Without this language to govern the network a personal computer might not be able to communicate with any Apple computers out there on the web, let alone any Linux computers. Try imagining being a student with a major in video editing. As a student, one would of course need an Apple computer of some kind. Yet anytime one wished to go online the results that one acquired were half of that if one had been using a run of the mill personal computer. If anything by instating a new language that eventually everyone adopted, not only simplified the Internet, but increased productivity.

For a second imagine a student enrolled in college and is given an IP, Internet Protocol, address of a page on the Internet to further explore on their own time. But wait a second, imputing long digits into the address field of an Internet browser is not the Internet that we have come to love, or is it? Instead of typing out long IP address in this day and age we have been able to type in the URL, Uniform Resource Locator, or instead of typing in its IP address, As students, we have all come to love the inclusion of domain names and URLs, notable example Coming about to better classify information, it has made determining websites content even easier before one have reached the page (Adams and Clark, 2001). Looking at the Albany address again one can see edu, which stands for education. Upon visiting the page, as a student, one would assume the page has to do with something educational, due to the fact that it has been assigned an educational domain name. There are countless other domain names as well, some include .com, .net, .org, all of which are designated for certain groups that wish to create their page on the Internet. Although, as time has shown us the registering of domains has become easier. Particularly in 2008 the organization that overseas domains the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN for short announced that they would be relaxing their rules concerning domain name creation (Marguerite Reardon, 2008). All this means is that the general public is now going to be able to register domains that make their lives even easier, or complicated considering the ruling was just passed this June, we as a people will just have to wait and see if works out for the better, or worse. But one thing is certain with the inclusion of domain names as they stand now, they have definitely made the Internet into what we know it as today.

Yet, the biggest innovation that led to the Internet, as we know it today would have to have come from humans being well, humans and their appetite for communicating with one another. What better way to communicate with individuals over vast distances than e-mail, which was created by Ray Tomlinson in 1972 (Adams and Clark, 2001). Essentially e-mail is taking the simplest form of communication, writing on a piece of paper and mailing it to a designated location, and digitizing it for the twenty-first century. Ironically enough, by simply transferring e-mail across the network, ARPANET, in effect created the Internet that we very well know today. With the use of so much bandwidth being put aside for this form of communication, the military dropped out in effect turning over the reigns to the people (Adams and Clark, 2001).

In closing, whether it is from the speed of ones connection, the ability to download files from a computer different from ones own, researching information on Wikipedia or just the simple yearning to talk to a friend the Internet has helped move humanity into new territory whether it is for better or worse, we will have to see, but hopefully this marriage will only bring us together as a people after all the Internet has come to be through these certain innovations but at its current rate of change no one can be sure of anything will stay the same for long.

Works Cited
Anonymous. (2007, February). Internet History: From ARPANET to Broadband. Congressional Digest, 86(2), 35-64.
Reardon, M. (2008, June 26). ICANN adopts new Web site naming rules. Retrieved from
Adam and Clark (2001). Welcome to the Future of Global Communication.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September 3: Reading Reaction

Essentially the reading for this week dealt with, where does the Internet fall in retrospect to current mediums. When I say mediums I mean traditional outlets, television and radio as well as print. The tricky thing when attempting to classify the Internet is that it in a sense takes all the characteristics from all different mediums and different types of communication and infuses it together to form, well what we know today as the Internet.

Not only does the Internet try to reinvent what we know today as mediums but it is also eliminating certain problems that other communication has run into in the past. For instance in the reading it cites three issues, reliability, speed, and distribution. Now before I dig deep into these issues, first let me state that anything created by man is not perfect for man himself is not perfect. As a result the reliability regardless of the type of medium, Internet or not, sometimes things just go wrong. But in theory the Internet with its speed that is increasing ever more so every day, is allowing us to reach new heights and make the world seem ever so small. Granted the distribution system the Internet does have, enables us to receive items that if they were in the real world would otherwise be lost and end up creating headaches.

Alas the internet is an ever expanding entity that hungers for more and more information. The one amusing point in the reading was when the author spoke, "Most statistics about the Internet are more accurately labeled estimates, and by the time anyone reads this paragraph they will hopelessly be out of date, (pg 7)" which more or less is probably as I write this reaction.

The author for the most part had my abiding attention and for the most part I agreed with him, yet when it came to explaning how the Internet will always find a way past certain firewalls and boundaries to deliver its information, I am not sure the author knew about the "Great Firewall of China." But just as I said in the begining of this post, anything that is created by man is not perfect, and some information does get past, but only by those users who know the system well enough to use it to their advantage. Almost similar to those users who know how to navigate the web through its hypertextual interfaces in order to find what they are looking for, whether its for business or pleasure.

Even today with all of this talk about Web 2.0 and some people are even speaking on Web 3.0, to clasify the Internet just seems foolish in retrospect, it is almost like trying to classify the world we live in and why we are here to begin with...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reading Reaction: August 27

The internet came about similarly as many inventions come about, militarily. Soon after World War II and the creation of the nuclear bomb, the world was a different place. Although the United States was ahead technologically they wanted to continue this trend in case a foreign agresser decided to use such a weapon. In the rare event of another power using the weapon of mass destruction, the United States wanted to ensure their systems would be able to Just as the United States anticipated foreign nations, developed their own form of the weapon. Yet, one power, the Soviet Union, had out paced the efforts of the United States. The Soviet Union in the 1950's launched the first man-made satelite Sputnik, which only made the efforts of pinpointing locations easier, especially for use of war. With the launch of the satelite, the United States was quite surprised and following shortly thereafter NASA launched their own satelite.